Traditional wisdom suggests two basic types of addiction. Either a person is born with the potential for addiction due to genetics, or they develop an addiction with extended substance abuse. Often, the issue becomes a combination of the two. That’s a simplified explanation of this condition, but there may be more underlying issues when evaluating each individual’s struggle. If someone you love is struggling with an addiction, determining the causes of their addiction might be necessary. To learn more, contact Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge at 844.442.8673 today.
Causes of Addiction
When there is a need for addiction treatment, there is always more to the story.
1. Overuse of Drugs for Recreational Purposes
Addictions often start with recreational or experimental use. Other than potential legal issues, ongoing drug or alcohol use can have long-lasting consequences, particularly on the brain. Even if you intend to use drugs or alcohol only once, such use all too often goes from once to twice, then to once a month, then every weekend. Such an issue may involve peer pressure as friends who also used the substance once a year begin doing it more often. Alternatively, it may be the person approaching addiction wants to do it more often. Either way, the continued use becomes more common, and the person using drugs or alcohol gravitates toward friends who find regular use acceptable. Then, it may turn into an addiction that requires regular use for maintenance purposes and feeling normal.
2. Daily Life and Stress
There’s no question that people use alcohol or drug to relieve daily stress. The question is whether it’s a healthy way to deal with everyday problems. The expectations of a boss at work, a spouse, children, or parents and siblings can lead to stress levels that using drugs or alcohol seems to lessen. Unfortunately, the stress is still there when the high wears off, yet it may have multiplied when the person was using drugs or alcohol. Such an issue leads to a cycle of substance abuse in which the first problem is never addressed. In contrast, more issues arise, so getting high again can further delay the use of healthy solutions to find a long term answer beneficial to all the parties involved.
3. Because It Feels Good
The third cause of addiction is perhaps the simplest to explain. Someone does drugs or uses alcohol and determine it feels nice. They like the escapism or the “high” that comes with use. So they use the substance again, continuing to use substances at higher levels and more often. At that point, it gets out of hand, and they lose control over the ability to control their drug and alcohol use. Work and personal relationships begin to suffer. Every morning the addiction causes regret over actions from the night before, yet cravings induce a need to do it again.
4. Using Drugs to Self-Medicate Mental Health Problems
Other common causes of addiction may include mental health problems. In some cases, people abuse drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their pre-existing mental health problems. Unfortunately, as they continue to use drugs or alcohol, they don’t learn how to cope with their symptoms, and so they feel that they can’t stop using substances. However, the more substances they use, the worse their mental health condition may become. If this is the case, they may benefit from dual diagnosis treatment.
How to Find Help for Substance Use and Addiction
Many substances cause dependency, meaning that if you stop using them without warning, you experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may make it difficult to stop using drugs or alcohol alone. If you need help, call Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge at 844.442.8673. We provide assistance with substance abuse regardless of the specific drug used or the extent to which the addiction has reached.